Above ground swimming pools are a great, affordable way to relax and enjoy those hot summer days. Shopping for an above ground pool can be simple and fun when you know what to look for when making your selection.
Other than style, there are many considerations to take into account such as size, construction materials, and accessories.
This article breaks down the process into three important parts: your yard, your pool, and most importantly, your enjoyment. This buyer’s guide will walk you through the process of purchasing an above ground pool including what questions you need to ask yourself and the differences in options.
- 1 1. Your Yard
- 2 2. Your Pool
- 3 3. Your Enjoyment
- 4 20 Greatest Above Ground Pool Ideas
1. Your Yard
So you’ve already decided you would like to transform your backyard into a fun getaway. You probably already have a good idea of where you’d like your above ground pool to be placed, but here are some additional considerations:
- Find a large area to accommodate a round or oval shape pool
- Choose a level area of land that receives sunlight most of the day
- Don’t place your pool over pipes or sprinkler systems
- Don’t place your pool directly under overhead electrical lines
- Comply with local zoning laws
- Measure the Area
It may be useful to measure out a round or oval pool in the area you want to build on to get a better idea about how much space your pool will occupy. To measure a round pool, place a stake or marker in the center of your building site.
Attach a rope that is half the diameter of your desired pool size and extend it out to create a perfectly round perimeter while marking the ground with spray paint. Measuring an oval pool starts off the same way by placing a stake or marker in the center or your desired building area.
Then, attach a rope half the width of your oval pool, including buttresses. Repeat the previous step but for the length. Mark your measurement with spray paint for a realistic visual of how much space you’ll need.
2. Your Pool
Your pool can be customized to suit your backyard and your style. This section will help you choose the type and build that’s perfect for you. After considering what your yard can accommodate, you can also ask yourself questions to help you find the right size and design.
What activities will I do in the pool?
Above ground pools have the capacity to handle everything from simple relaxing to lap swimming and multi-player activities.
Oval vs. Round
Oval pools are generally larger than round pools. Because of its shape, an oval pool requires buttresses for structural support and stability. Oval pools are great for hosting team activities and their length is ideal for swimming laps.
Round pools take up less space and allow you to fit a larger size in a smaller area. Round pools are easier to install and their circular design provides natural support. Although smaller in size, a round pool has more swimming area than an oval pool.
Who will be using the pool?
Deciding who will be using your pool can help you choose the correct wall height for your above ground pool. Small children and less experienced swimmers may need a pool with a lower wall height creating a shallower swimming pool.
48″ vs. 54″
Above ground pools come in 48″, 52″, and 54″ wall heights. Depending on who will be using your pool and what swim skill levels they possess can make all the difference. 6 inches in wall height variance can mean as much as 8 inches in water volume difference.
What materials are best?
As with any product, the type and quality of materials used in production greatly affect the price of your above ground pool. With the option of steel, steel with resin accents or a hybrid (steel walls with resin top rails and resin bottom rails), you can learn the benefits and see what is best for you.
Steel vs. Resin
Steel is the preferred material for above ground pool walls because of its strength and relatively light weight; It allows for durable structural support and sustains water weight and swimmers with ease.
Above ground pool walls are built with corrugated and galvanized steel to enhance structural stability and memory. Resin is a hard, non-corrosive, durable material that creates a long-lasting framework.
Structural parts like top rails, bottom boots, bottom tracks, and uprights are made from resin for a long-lasting foundation. A hybrid pool is made with both resin and steel parts for the ultimate in strength and durability. All steel, resin, and hybrid pools have steel walls for better reliability and flexibility.
The thickness of the steel wall is a vital consideration when comparing above ground pools. Foreign manufacturers are reducing the thickness of their steel walls to offer lower prices to consumers. I recommend checking out Sharkline pools; theirs are the thickest walls on the market and are manufactured in the United States.
3. Your Enjoyment
Once you’ve decided where you want your pool to go and what type you like, you can enhance its look and feel with additional accessories like raised decks, steps, and entry systems.
If you decide to use an automatic cleaner for your above ground pool, make sure that it is designed specifically for above ground pools. Cleaners designed for in ground pools will exert too much suction on your liner and could cause bubbling or tearing.
20 Greatest Above Ground Pool Ideas
1. With Deck
3. Buried Above Ground
4. Pool Steps
5. Sunken Pool